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What are the Best Ways of Preventing Leg Cramps?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Leg cramps involve involuntary contractions of the muscles in the leg and can be a troubling and very painful occurrence for many people. Common causes of leg cramps include muscle strains, nutritional deficiencies, or the presence of other medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis. In many cases, the exact cause of the leg cramps is never determined. Preventing leg cramps may involve trial and error as a person experiments with tips such as gentle exercise, dietary changes, or the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Gentle stretching exercises are often among the most recommended tips in preventing leg cramps. Regular stretching of the leg muscles can often prevent the unpredictable muscle contractions that may cause severe pain and difficulty functioning at a normal level. If the leg cramps happen the most often at night, it may help to spend a few minutes on an exercise bike or performing a similar activity just before bed. It may take a few weeks of regularly stretching these muscles before a significant improvement is noticed.

Dehydration is a leading cause of leg cramps. Preventing leg cramps may be as easy as drinking more fluids for many people. Drinking plenty of water or fruit juices is often a quite successful way of preventing leg cramps. Drinking a glass of warm water just before bed may be able to prevent the leg cramps from happening while trying to sleep.

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Nutritional deficiencies may cause some people to develop painful leg cramps. Preventing leg cramps in this instance may involve making a few dietary changes. Some people do not have enough potassium in their diet and may need to add foods such as bananas to the diet. Herbal supplements containing calcium, magnesium, and potassium may be a useful tool in preventing leg cramps for many people. It is always wise to check with a doctor before taking any nutritional supplements to make sure there is an actual deficiency present.

If leg cramps occur regularly, especially as the result of another medical condition, prescription medications may be used for preventing leg cramps. Muscle relaxants are commonly prescribed for this purpose, although other medications may be used as well. The doctor should be notified of any other medications, including herbal supplements, that are being taken before a new medication is begun. All questions and concerns about treating or preventing leg cramps should be discussed with a doctor.

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